(Host) The Green Mountain National Forest is asking the public to weigh in on a proposed 15-turbine wind farm on national forest land in Readsboro and Searsburg.
The 30 megawatt project is being proposed by Deerfield Wind, which is owned by Iberdrola Renewables of Portland Oregon.
If approved, the 30 megawatt project would be the first utility-scale wind energy installation on national forest land anywhere in the U.S.
The installation won a certificate of Public Good, with conditions, from the Vermont Public Service Board in 2008. But it also needs approval from the forest service.
Colleen Madrid is the Green Mountain Forest Supervisor,
(Madrid) “Because the Forest Service is the Landowning Agency the forest service is the one that will allow this to happen or not. However there is no decision that’s been made internally or externally at this time. We are still collecting information and will make the best decision from that information that we can make.”
(Host) The Forest Service has just issued a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement that details how the wind farm would affect the public lands.
One of the main concerns about the Deerfield project has been its interference with prime habitat for black bears.
Madrid says the agency is taking public comments on the plan until February 18.
(Madrid) “We’re also going to have a couple of open houses in January… where we hope if the public hasn’t written in they can come and look at the maps and talk about the alternatives and talk about what their thoughts are.”
(Host) After the public comments are factored in, Madrid, as forest supervisor, will make the final decision.
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